Get Scuba Certified! There are dozens of agencies that provide Scuba diver certification. For the new diver, this can be confusing. PADI and NAUI are the two best known. There is also SSI, SDI and SEI just to name a few. Which one is best? Each one of these agencies will issue a universally recognized “C Card” upon the successful completion of the basic Open Water Course.

When selecting a dive program it is best to consult with a several local dive shops and experienced divers who have recently completed a certification. The quality of the instruction is what matters, regardless of certifying agency. It is not the certifying agency but the competence of the Dive Instructor that makes the difference.

Dive instruction, with few exceptions has been standardized across the recreational diving industry. What about advanced training after the Basic Open Water Course? There is general recognition of certifying courses between agencies. When I received my C-Card I went through a NAUI certified dive operation. I liked the idea of going through a non-profit agency.

When I went for the Advanced Open Water course I decided to try PADI. In each instance the instruction was excellent. The important thing is go with an instructor that has a solid reputation and the rest will follow.

Basic Open Water diver training involves taking a course from a certifying agency. The training consists of several classroom lectures and practical exercises, multiple dives in a pool environment and finally, dives in open water.

Once you complete the classroom portion, pass the exam and complete the pool and open water requirements, you become a, “certified diver” and receive your “C- Card”. Your instructor will provide you with a temporary card until the certifying agency sends you a permanent card. You are now ready to begin your diving adventures! Once you complete open water certification, it is highly recommended that you move on to an advanced level certification.

Many dive operations will require an Advanced Open Water certification before diving with them. It’s a good idea to check a dive guide’s requirements before booking with them. Advanced certification is a continuing education course for certified divers. The advanced level certification increases your knowledge and skills as a diver. It also enables you take advantage of different diving opportunities.

Advanced dive courses consist of multiple dives under varying conditions and a set number of hours of classroom work to complete the advanced certification. Some of the dives you’ll conduct include; night diving, navigation, a deep dive, search and recovery, boat diving, non-penetration wreck diving and shore diving.

Once you complete an advanced certification, you can move on to further levels of certification such as Rescue Diver and Dive Master. To get the most from the course and to become the best diver you can be, read and study each assigned module prior to class.

Keep the learning objectives in mind as you study. Review often and immediately after completing a section. Take detailed notes on areas you’re unclear about, listen to your instructor, ask questions and make sure everything is clear before moving on.

Be sure to log your dives so that you can review them once the course is completed. Your log may be required for future courses.  When you’re ready to further increase your skills and knowledge about diving, consult your local dive shop. It is a good idea to find a “home” dive shop to find out about local dive opportunities.  Good diving!

When you’re ready to increase you skills, techniques, and knowledge about diving, consult your local dive shop for current course information, costs, times, dates, etc. Good Diving!

SCUBA Certifying Agencies:

  • ACDC – Associazione CMAS Diving Centre Italia
  • ACUC – American Canadian Underwater Certifications
  • ADIP-Association Des Instructeurs de Plongée
  • ADS – Association of Diving School
  • AED – Associated European Divers
  • AFUS – Armenian Federation of Underwater Sports
  • Albatros Progetto Paolo Pinto
  • AMCQ – Association des Moniteurs de la CMAS du Quebec
  • ANDI – American Nitrox Divers International, also ANDI International
  • ANIS – Associaziona Nazionale Istruttori Subacquei
  • APT – Antincendio Prevencione Tecnologia
  • ASD Acqua Team
  • ASI – Alleanza Sportiva Italiana Divisione Subacquea
  • AUF – Australian Underwater Federation
  • AUSI – Associated Underwater Scuba Instructors
  • BEFOS-FEBRAS – Fédération Royale Belge De Recherches et d’Activites Sous-Marines
  • Belarus Federation of Underwater Sport
  • BNAUA – Bulgarian National Association of Underwater Activity
  • BSAC – British Sub Aqua Club
  • CBPDS – Confederaçao Brasiliera de Pesca e Desportos Subaquáticos
  • CDP – Canadian Diving Program
  • CFT – Comhairle Fo-Thuinn
  • CFUA – Cyprus Federation of Underwater Activities
  • CIRSS – Comitato Italiano Ricerche Studi Subaquei
  • CMAS – Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques
  • CMAS Baltic – CMAS Baltic Sporta Biedrtba
  • CMAS-CH – CMAS Switzerland
  • CMAS-ISA – CMAS Instructors of South Africa
  • CRASA – Confederation Russe des Activites Subaquatiques
  • CTUF – Chinese Taipei Underwater Federation
  • CUA – Chinese Underwater Association
  • DDI – Disabled Divers International
  • DIWA – Diving Instructor World Association
  • DSF – Dansk Sports Dykker Forbund Danish Sports Divers Federation
  • EAVSL – Eesti Allveeliit
  • ESA – ESA Worldwide
  • EULF – Egyptian Underwater & Lifesaving Federation
  • FAAS – Federación Argentina de Actividades Subacuaticas
  • FADAS – Federacio Andorrana d’Activitats Subaquaticas
  • FASSAS – Fédération Algerienne de Sauvetage de Secourisme et des Activites Subaquatiques
  • FAS – Federatia de Activitati Subacvatice din Republica Moldava
  • FAST – Federation des Activites Subaquatiques de Tunisie
  • FCAS – Federacion Cubana de Actividades Subacuaticas
  • FCVDS – Federacao Cabo Verde Desportivo Subm. José Maria Aquatico
  • FEDASUB – Federación Ecuatoriana de Buceo y Actividades Subacuaticas
  • FEDECAS – Federacion Columbiana de Actividades Subacuaticas
  • FEDEPASA – Federacion Peruana de Actividades Subacuaticas
  • FEDESUB – Federation Deportiva Nacional de Deportes Submarinos
  • FFESSM – Fédération Française d’Études et de Sports Sous-Marins
  • Federazione Italiana Sport Acquatici
  • FIAS – Federazione Italiana Attività Subacquee
  • FIPSAS – Federazione Italiana Pesca Sportiva e Attività Subacquee
  • FLASSA – Fédération Luxembourgeoise des Activites et Sports Subaquatiques ASBL
  • FMAS – Federation Monegasque des Activites Subaquatiques
  • FMAS – Federacion Mexicana de Actividades Subacuaticas A.C.
  • FMPAS – Federation Marocaine de Plongée et Activites Subaquatiques
  • FPAS – Federacao Portuguesa Actividades Subaquaticas
  • FSAS – Federazione Sammarinese Attivita Subacquee
  • FUAM – Federation of Underwater Activities Malta
  • FVAS – Federacion Venezolana de Actividades Subacuaticas
  • GUE – Global Underwater Explorers
  • HFUA – Elliniki Ohospondia Ypoyrichias Drastriottas Athlitikis Alkias kai Technikis Kolymvisis
  • HKUAL – Hong Kong Underwater Association
  • HRS – Hrvatski Ronilacki savez
  • HSA – Handicap Scuba Association
  • IAC – International Aquanautic Club
  • IAHD – International Association for Handicapped Divers
  • IAHD Adriatic – Mednarodno zdruzenje hendikepiranih potapljacev Adriatic
  • IANTD – International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers
  • IDEA – International Diving Educators Association
  • IPA – International Police Association
  • ISDA – International Scuba Diving Academy
  • Irish Underwater Council
  • Islamic Republic of Iran Lifesaving Federation
  • JCIA – Japan CMAS Instructor Association
  • JEFF – Japan Educational Facilities Federation
  • KD Japan – Kansai Sensui Renmei
  • KDP PTTK – Polskie Towarzystwo Turystyczno-Krajoznawcze Komisja Dzialalnosci Podw
  • KP-LOK – Komisja Pletwonurkowania LOK
  • KSC – Kuwait Science Club
  • KUA – Korea Underwater Association
  • KUF – Kyrgyz Underwater Federation
  • KWTDIVERS – Kuwait Academy for Diving and Swimming
  • LDA – Libyan Diving Association
  • LTV – Liechtensteiner Tauchsport Verband
  • LUSF – Lietuvos Povandeninio Sporto Federacija
  • LZSF – Latviejas Zemudens Sporta Federacija
  • MBSz – Magyar Búvár Szakszövetség
  • MSDA – Mauritian Scuba Diving Association
  • MSAC – Malayan Sub Aqua Club
  • MTES – Marine Techno Educational System
  • MUF – Maldives Underwater Federation
  • NADD – NADD Global Diving Agency
  • NASE – National Academy of Scuba Educators
  • NAUI – National Association of Underwater Instructors
  • NDF – Norges Dykkeforbund
  • NDL – National Dive League
  • NOB – Nederlandse Onderwatersport Bond
  • NUWF – Namibia Underwater Federation
  • PADI – Professional Association of Diving Instructors
  • PCIA – Philippine Federation of CMAS Underwater Activities
  • PDA – Professional Diving Association
  • PDIC – Professional Diving Instructors Corporation International
  • POSSIISSA – Persartuan Olahraga Selam Seluruh Indonesia
  • PROTEC – Professional Technical & Recreational Diving
  • PSS – Professional Scuba Schools
  • PTA – Pure Tech Agency
  • PZPn – Polski Zwiazek Pletwonurkowania
  • RJMSF – Royal Jordanian Marine Sports Federation
  • RUF – Russian Underwater Federation
  • Saudi Arabia Maritime Sports Federation
  • Savez Ronilaca Bosne I Hergegovine
  • SAA – The Sub-Aqua Association
  • S.C.U.B.A. AG – Swiss Company for Underwater Breathing and Activities
  • SEI – Scuba Educators International USOA
  • SDI – Scuba Diving International
  • Serbian Underwater Federation
  • SNSI – Scuba Nitrox Safety International [13]
  • SPCR – Svaz Potapecu Ceske Republikiy
  • SPZ – Slovenska Potapljaska Zveza
  • SSAC –Scottish Sub Aqua Club
  • SSDF – Svenska Sportdykarförbundet
  • SSI – Scuba Schools International
  • SUF – Singapore Underwater Federation
  • Sukeltajaliitto Ry
  • SUSV – Schweizer Unterwassersport-Verband
  • Syrian Underwater Sport Federation
  • Taiwan Technical and Science Diving Association
  • TDA – Thailand Diving Association
  • TIDF – Israeli Diving Federation
  • Toa Engineering Corporation
  • TSSF – Türkiye Sualti Sporlari Federasyonu
  • TVSÖ – Tauchsportverband Österreichs
  • UEF – Underwater Explorers’ Federation
  • UFUSUA – Ukraian Federation of Underwater Sport and Underwater Activities
  • UISP – Union Italienne Sport Pour Tous
  • Underwater Federation Republic of Kazakhstan
  • USOA – Underwater Society of America
  • UTD – Unified Team Diving
  • VDST – Verband Deutscher Sporttaucher.
  • VDTL – Verband Deutscher Tauchlehrer
  • WOSD – World Organisation of Scuba Diving

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